My daughter entered Nancy Campbell Academy at Semester in Jan 2020. Immediately she was welcomed by staff into a student body that can best be described as a family. The teachers display academic rigor and relevance in their teaching and push every student to be their best. However, teachers are also available and there is much support for students' academic achievement as well as emotional wellbeing at both the school and the residence. While the switch to online learning was problematic for many schools, Nancy Campbell Academy demonstrated the ability to uphold and continue their dedication to student learning and well-being while continuing to foster a sense of connection and community through a very difficult time throughout the world. We feel so fortunate that we have been able to find a school that equally values, stresses, and supports challenging academic curriculum, emotional well being and the importance of the development of our daughter as a well-rounded productive citizen. We are Canadian ex-pats living abroad and as such our daughter could attend any school in Canada. However, we visited numerous schools and we could not find another school that is able to offer both academic excellence combined with support for her development as a young adult.
The school appears to utilize a distributive leadership model that benefits the students. Teachers take the time to get to know each and every student on a personal level and even teachers who may not have taught my daughter took an interest and provided support to her. Any concerns that I had were quickly and appropriately addressed by school administration who are easily accessible and responsive. The school fosters a community in which discipline issues are rarely a concern. This is definitely the safest, most inclusive and encouraging school I have ever seen.
The teachers at Nancy Campbell Academy are both knowledgeable and dedicated to their craft. They often come in early, work through lunches ans stay after school to provide support and assistance as requested by students. The teachers are also intimately involved with afterschool activities and can often be seen volunteering with their students in the community or hosting evening weekend events for enrich the lives of their students. As a parent, I appreciate being able to communicate directly with the teachers and I have always received a response quickly that left me feeling supported as a parent and knowing my child with getting the support she needs. I have been pleased to see our daughter be challenged to grow, learn and develop and free to take responsible risks knowing that her teachers and school staff will be there to support her along the way.
One of the greatest academic strengths at Nancy Campbell Academy is the knowledge of the teachers combined with small class sizes and a culture that encourages academic engagement, dialogue and getting outside of ones comfort zone in order to more fully develop. As a testament to the academic excellence at Nancy Campbell Academy, our daughter has taken 2 college level class at a local U.S. College this summer, the year between her Gr. 9 and 10 year. She is in a class with students who all have high school diplomas and is currently holding an average above 90% and is among the top students in her class. Without the culture cultivated by Nancy Campbell Academy encouraging students to push themselves and her peers supporting the academic excellence of all students I do not know if she would have taken this leap. Our daughter wishes to pursue a career in medicine and we have no doubt that she will be will prepared for this by her education and development at Nancy Campbell Academy.
The staff and administration at Nancy Campbell Academy foster a commitment to students being well-rounded individuals which includes extra-curricular activities. There are numerous opportunities within the school to be involved in teams, events, clubs etc and if there is an interest that is not currently offered the school is very open to a student lead group. Furthermore, they foster connections within the greater community in order for students to optimize their experiences. For instance, my daughter is a "serious" dancer and they were sure to support and accommodate her continued pursuit of continued training and development through the dance studio that happens to be right next door! There is an emphasis on developing leaders and the school requires 40 hour a year of community involvement which has allowed our daughter to flourish as a leader working with younger children in the greater community.
Nancy Campbell Academy is a smaller school that is diverse and hosts students from all over the world. We appreciate this diversity as it provides a rich and inclusive environment for our daughter to not only learn about the world, but learn about herself. The spirit of the school and student body is one on unity, inclusiveness. This school is free from the rumors, drama and general prettiness that seem to plague many other high schools. We appreciate that the students are focused on developing meaningful relationships with each other, supporting each other and achieving their personal best. What initially drew me as a parent to thie school was witnessing the respect and kindness with which students were treating each other and the staff with.
My daughter has found the resident advisors to provide good guidance and appropriate supervision (as well as help with homework and general life stresses as they arrive!). She also has multiple dietary allergies and the school took the time to not only learn about these and ensure that her needs were met they are open to feedback about preferred foods/ brands since she is not able to eat some of the "typical" foods. This may sound trivial but it was and is huge in her feeling like "normal" kid who can fit in with her peers. We also appreciate the town of Stratford, Ontario while it is a very safe and quaint town it is ripe with history and culture as the home of the world famous Stratford Festival. It is also only about 30 min form London, Ontario and 1.5 hours form Toronto, Ontario so the students can experience the richness of these places without being subject to the challenges they would pose by living there full time.
I have found the staff, administration etc to be be very welcoming of parental involvement in many forms. As an international boarding school this involvement takes many forms with different families but the school allows parents to be involved in the manner which feels right and works for them. Stratford in a lovely small town in Ontario, Canada is easy to navigate and allows the students to participate in many community-based activities. Students are also provided a bus pass as well as a membership to the local YMCA. The bus pass and YMCA pass allow students to participate in things such as going to the local mall, visit coffee shops, restaurant and take classes or work out at the YMCA.
Stratford is an exceptionally safe and small town in Ontario. My daughter has always felt safe while out about town. Additionally the residence itself is very safe. There are multiple security measures i.e. locks that one must go through as the residence entrance is controlled through card access. Students are encouraged to and do participate in community based activities, festivals etc. The students of Nancy Campbell Academy become contributing members of the greater community.
If at all possible I would encourage you to go for a visit or have your student talk to current students. The culture and climate of Nancy Campbell Academy is one that is best experienced first hand. The application process was straightforward and there was much support available for any questions or concerns that we had along the way. We appreciated the timeliness of the admissions decision and the availability of admissions staff to answer our questions, help us navigate the application process etc. The only thing that I would change about the admission process would be to add a docusign option, but that is a minor thing and certainly not a deal breaker for our family. The residence is also worth a tour as every student gets a single room. Other schools we toured had anywhere from 2-4 students to a room and the single room was very important to us in order to allow time for study, reflection and just general "recouping" when needed.